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Tear Jerker / BTS

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Where there is hope, there is always hardship...
Lyrics in "Sea" (hidden track in LOVE YOURSELF: Her).

BTS' approach to their music has always been to tell their own stories, as well as stories of the people of their generation. As it happens with youth, there can be moments of beauty... but also moments of pain, uncertainty and fear.

The BU has its own page, as does the BU-related webtoon SAVE ME.


Music and music videos

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  • "Tomorrow" is directed to everyone (especially young adults) who's feeling stuck or lost in search of a dream, encouraging them to not give up. It was written by Suga while they were trainees, when the future of the group was completely uncertain - not to mention that Suga himself was seriously struggling with financial problems and mental illness during that period -, so it can really hit close to home.
    Same day, same moon
    24/7 every moment repeats
    My life is in between
    Jobless twenty-somethings afraid of tomorrow [...]
    I have a long way to go but why am I running in place?
    I scream out of frustration but empty air echoes
    I hope tomorrow will be different from today
    I'm just wishing
  • "Whalien 52" talks about loneliness through the story of the 52-Hertz-Whale, a real-life whale of unidentified species that calls at an unusually high frequency, and is therefore commonly described as the world's loneliest. In the song, however, it never stops calling in hopes that someone, somewhere, will eventually hear.
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  • "EPILOGUE: Young Forever", a song expressing the ups and downs of being musicians and idols, and how even though they know their fame will come to an end and that they will face many obstacles along the way, the boys will always want to be loved and chase their dreams.
  • "Spring Day" is a song about loss and the pain and loneliness that one experiences while grieving for the person(s) absence. The music video is solemn, and there's reluctance and longing as the group moves forward. Depending on your interpretation, it could be about an estranged relationship (platonic, familial or otherwise), the loss of a person due to death or suicide, or the boys bidding farewell to their youth as they begin a new chapter in their lives.
  • After "Mic Drop", LOVE YOURSELF: Her shifts into a darker tone.
    • While not necessarily a song that will make people cry, "Go Go" has an underlying bittersweet or even bleak feel to it: it's about how the Korean youth of today frivolously spend money on things like food, games, and other luxuries, as many don't see the point in saving for a future due to economic hardships placed by society.
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    • "Outro: Her" ends the album in a somewhat somber note, giving way to LOVE YOURSELF: Tear. The person has fallen in love, but finds themselves changing and covering their less desirable traits for the other person. As some people have pointed out, it can be interpreted as the way idols try to only show their good side to fans, having their image cleaned-up and controlled by their company and having no space for flaws or mistakes.
      • It says something when, in a reaction video to "Outro: Her" featuring a fan of Wanna One (a group who days before had been accidentally caught on camera cursing and saying some compromising comments about their company), Suga's verse made her cry.
      Is not the one you know
      Make up to wake up today too
      And dress up to mask on
    • There are 2 hidden tracks in the physical album. One of them is "Skit: Hesitation and Fear", recorded around 3 months after their first Billboard Award, where the members reminisce about their period as trainees, and the uncertainty they had about even getting to debut. And then, they start talking about how their newfound success has made them feel more pressure and feel of falling, now that everyone is looking at them now. And then... they talk about how, as much as they try to be as truthful about themselves to the fans as they can, their image is always a filtered, "nicely wrapped-up" (as Suga puts it) version of themselves. How, being idols, sometimes it seems like they're acting while living their everyday lives, since they always try to show their good side to people.
    • Then comes the second hidden track, "Sea". It reminisces on the hardships they suffered entering the Kpop industry: harsh competition, getting cut from broadcasts (due to being from a small company without connections), all sleeping in one room, people telling them they wouldn't make it. Desperately working through blood, sweat and tears to achieve success, only to find that success is not eternal, with a still-existing fear of falling; like finding the sea after pushing on through the desert, only to find yourself thirstier, and wondering if it was just a mirage.
      Ocean, desert and the world...
      Everything, same thing
      Different name
  • The mask created in Her breaks in LOVE YOURSELF: Tear. And it's ugly.
    • "Intro: Singularity" immediately sets the tone for the album, completely contrasting "Intro: Serendipity". The song is slow, somber and even eerie, with V's baritone voice instead of Jimin's soft and higher-pitched one. The lyrics talk about the sober realization that hiding flaws, pain and sadness from the other has brought a Loss of Identity, and that the mask built to please that other is becoming unsustainable.
      Did I lose myself... or did I gain you?
    • "FAKE LOVE" is when the mask finally breaks. It's desperate, explosive, and the lyrics tearfully detail the realization that the person has lost their sense of self; that, as much as the person hoped for it to work, the love they were building and craving was nothing but lies, since the loved one doesn't actually know or understand them after all.
      I wanted to be a good man, just for you
      I gave you the world, just for you
      I changed everything, just for you
      Now I don't know me - Who are you?
    • "The Truth Untold" (feat. Steve Aoki) is based on the story of "La Città di Smeraldo", about a man who falls in love with a woman who steals flowers from his garden, but never shows himself to her for fear that she'll see his grotesque appearance, and simply lets her keep on taking flowers. He decides to create a new flower, the Smeraldo, and fill his garden with it, so he can make her happy. However, before he can show them to her, the woman stops coming. He later finds out she died.
      And I still want you...
      • The song is about being afraid of showing your "ugly"/darker side to the one you love; that "darker side" has been interpreted by some as deeper flaws or even mental illness; in the song, this leads to the person hiding that side until they lose the other person, and wondering about whether things would have been different otherwise. It ties to the general theme of the LOVE YOURSELF series: if you can't share those parts and weaknesses you don't like about yourself, the love (whether it's toward other or yourself) won't last.
  • The concept of the LOVE YOURSELF series is related to hiding the bad side of yourself from the person you love. Closer reading of the lyrics of certain songs such as "Outro: Her" (as seen above), "Best of Me", "Fake Love", and the hidden tracks in LOVE YOURSELF: Her, reveals that this also applies to the relationship of many Kpop idols with their fans, with companies creating an idealized, cleaned-up version of themselves through make-up, editing, and control of their image through Contractual Purity, which idols maintain in order to make their fans happy.
    Why you sad? I don't know, I don't know
    Look at me. I even gave up on myself
    Even you can't understand me.

The Members

  • Their whole story. They started from the very bottom, signing with a small company that did not even have the funds for background actors or stage crews, sleeping in a tiny dorm room, and having to be overlooked by the media, the K-Pop industry, and etc. Now, they have made several marks in history for K-Pop and the music industry as a whole, becoming global superstars and are one of the most beloved K-Pop bands in the entire world.
    • What's worse is they too did not think that they'd be able to make it this big. They doubted themselves and admit that they can't even believe they made it this far.
  • As Jin admitted during their acceptance speech for Artist of the Year at MAMA 2018, all of them considered disbanding due to the almost overwhelming pressures of their work and the weight of their achievements but due to the overwhelming support of the ARMY and each other, they renewed their contract with Big Hit for another seven years.
    • During his part of the acceptance speech, the normally jovial and energetic J-Hope burst into tears and almost found it difficult to continue speaking.
    • Taehyung also being unable to hold back his tears after Jin admits to the audience about their talk about disbandment.
  • The members and their personal issues are a source of tearjerkers among the fandom as well. That includes:
    • Jimin
      • He has several issues with his weight and appearance. In an episode of "Take Good Care of the Fridge", he admits that he only ate one meal every ten days, resulting in him losing weight but passed out several times during practice. At his bandmates' and his family's insistence, he decided to stop that kind of diet and seems to have recovered.
      • As was revealed in Burn the Stage, he is a perfectionist and gets upset with every mistake that he makes (his voice cracking, dropping his mic, etc.), believing that he is cheating the ARMY by not doing his best. Learning this, the ARMY created the hashtag "#JiminYouArePerfect" to show their support of him.
    • Jin
      • He was known initially as only being scouted for his good looks, despite him working hard in practicing both dance and singing (both of which he has no background on) and received a lot of dismissive comments about it.
      • As the lead visual of the group, the pressure to maintain his good looks and figure is intense. As he admitted in the same episode as Jimin, he admitted to eating only two chicken breasts a day for an entire year, resulting in him becoming malnourished since he did not take vitamins while he did this.
    • Suga
      • Suga has suffered from severe anxiety and depression since he was a child, though he works hard to overcome both.
      • He grew up very poor and his family did not support his passion for music, resulting in some of his lyrics being thrown out. He tried to sell his music in the streets but would get scammed and often had to result in starving himself if he wanted to buy a bus ticket home.
    • J-Hope
      • There was once a trending hashtag to kick J-Hope out of BTS in 2014, which upset J-Hope. ARM Ys rallied in support of him and Jimin also showed his support to his band member by spelling out his name by using his body.
    • Taehyung
      • After learning that his grandmother, who raised him for 14 years, had passed away while he was on tour in Manila, he spoke about it during one of their live performances, breaking into tears.
    • RM
      • He initially received a lot of backlash, both from the underground community who accused him of selling out and from the Kpop community for not fitting Korean Beauty Standards. In addition, He is very introspective and tends to think too much about who he is and his place in this world,something that often makes him doubt himself and feel lonely and depressed. "mono" is full of his musings.
    • Jungkook
      • Jungkook left his hometown and family and became a trainee at 13 years old,debuting at 15. As such he started working at a very young age. He once went on "Let’s Eat Dinner Together" where he admitted that when he first meets someone or deals with people, he doesn’t feel like he's being sincere, and it’s like there’s a wall between them. Jungkook commented that in order to get naturally close to each other, people usually think the same way and are sincere with each other. For him though, he said he constantly thinks about, “How can I get close to this person? What can I do for this person to like me?” Then he added, “I feel like I’m wearing a mask.”


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